Diego Costa fined but avoids jail in tax fraud case

The Spain international was accused of failing to declare payments totalling over 5.15 million euros from his move to Chelsea in 2014.

Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa   -  Getty Images

Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa has been ordered to pay a fine of 543,000 euros ($608,000) after admitting to defrauding Spanish tax authorities of more than a million euros, judicial sources said on Thursday.

Costa, 31, was sentenced to six months in jail, but instead agreed to pay an additional fine of 36,000 euros on top of his initial fine to avoid serving time, as is customary in Spain for prison terms of under two years for non-violent crimes.

The Spain international was accused of failing to declare payments totalling over 5.15 million euros from his move to Chelsea in 2014.

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He also concealed more than one million euros in image rights.

The Spain international last year paid “1.14 million euros, fully repaying his tax debt, interest included”, which facilitated the deal struck with Spanish prosecutors, a court decision seen by AFP read.

Costa, who rejoined Atletico in 2017, appeared in a Madrid court on Thursday wearing a mask due to the coronavirus pandemic, for a short hearing to finalise the agreement with prosecutors.

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